According to the stats from Saturday’s defeat against Burnley, Leeds managed 22 shots, and had possession for 63% (57 minutes) of the game. Enough to say we should have comfortably won the game, you might say? But then look at how many times Tom Heaton had to make a convincing save? The Ross McCormack header is the only one I can remember, and to be fair it looked a fairly easy save.
It’s not just Saturday’s game though. We’ve just not taken enough chances. Even before the start of this season, the majority of fans were in agreement that we still needed a winger or two, and someone who can put the ball in the back of the net regularly. Someone like, who knows, maybe Luciano Becchio? Sold by Warnock less than a year ago, and we’ve still not managed to replace him. If we’d have had a natural poacher, we’d have taken all 3 points from Saturday’s game.
Our squad currently has 6 strikers. However, you wouldn’t class any of them as poachers. El-Hadji Diouf and Ross McCormack, you would call them attacking midfielders as opposed to front-men. Dominic Poleon is still young and learning his trade, but he looks a very promising player for us. Matt Smith or Luke Varney would link up well with someone running off of them. I’m not sure about Noel Hunt, though. It’s obvious he’s going to run himself into the ground every time he plays, but I can’t see him playing much if we bring in this new striker.
Take a look at the table below – showing the amount of goals Leeds had scored in the past 5 seasons after 8 league games.
This is the first time in 5 seasons that we’ve not got into double figures in terms of goals. A very worrying statistic, but it’s something that McDermott can fix, and he said after the Burnley game he wants to add some firepower to the squad, and wants to do it before we go to Millwall next weekend.
Anyone signed before Saturday would come under the 93-day emergency loan, so their deal would expire just days before the January transfer window, hopefully allowing us to tie up some permanent deals. But who is available? The first player who springs to mind, as I said earlier is Luciano Becchio. The majority of fans loved him, adored him. His goal-scoring record for Leeds in the Championship was nothing short of brilliant. Surely no one can doubt that, just look at the statistics. 45 goals in two and a half seasons, and we swap him for Steve Morison. Morison himself was a flop and is now at Millwall for the season. All the signs at Norwich are pointing at the departure of Becchio. Just one appearance this seaon, against Bury in the Capital One Cup. You never know, he might be happy just warming their bench but then again, a move back to Elland Road may excite the Argentine.
Another player who may be available is West Brom’s Shane Long. His proposed deadline day move to Hull City collapsed. He has made 3 appearances so far this season but was left out of their squad for the 3-0 win against Sunderland on Saturday. West Brom have plenty of other strikers, and it seems as though Sessegnon, Anelka, Anichebe and even Saido Berahino are all ahead of Long in the pecking order. Long has had one very good season in the Championship, scoring over 20 goals for Reading. I think he’d be a very good addition to Brian McDermott’s squad. His work rate is excellent and he’d be the perfect forward to play off of Luke Varney or Matt Smith.
They’re the two main players being linked with Leeds this morning but there are plenty of strikers available in the market. Nicky Maynard of Cardiff City, he hasn’t played much and must be pretty far down Cardiff’s striking list. Some sports sites are suggesting that Adam Le Fondre of Reading is being allowed to go out on loan. This rumour has only recently come to light as they’re on the verge of signing Billy Sharp from Southampton. Ricardo Vaz Te may be another option, we were linked with him during the Summer transfer window.
That’s 5 players that could all be available in this emergency loan market. There’s no doubt though that any of them would prove astute additions to the current Leeds United squad. Leave your thoughts at the bottom, or send him some more suggestions on who you’d like to see Brian McDermott bring in on loan.